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Underneath that face like summer's ocean, Its lips as moveless, and its brow as clear, Slumbers a whirlwind of the heart's emotion, Love, hatred, pride, hope, sorrow,--all save fear.

Cast in the setting of to-day, after such an attempt on human life as we broke up on the prairie, Jean Pahusca would have been hiding in the coverts of Oklahoma, or doing time at the Lansing penitentiary for attempted assault with intent to kill. The man who sold him the whiskey would be in the clutches of the law, carrying his case up to the Supreme Court, backed by the slush fund of the brewers' union. The Associated Press would give the incident a two-inch heading and a one-inch story; and the snail would stay on the thorn, and the lark keep on the wing.

Even in that time Springvale would not have tolerated the Indian among us had it not been that the minds of the people were fermenting with other things. We were on the notorious old border between free and slave lands, whose tragedies rival the tales of the Scottish border. Kansas had been a storm centre since the day it became a Territory, and the overwhelming theme was negro slavery. Every man was marked as "pro" or "anti." There was no neutral ground. Springvale was by majority a Free-State town. A certain element with us, however, backed up by the Fingal's Creek settlement, declared openly and vindictively for slavery. It was from this class that we had most to fear. While the best of our people were giving their life-blood to save a nation, these men connived with border raiders who would not hesitate to take the life and property of every Free-State citizen. When our soldiers marched away to fields of battle, they knew they were leaving an enemy behind them, and no man's home was safe. Small public heed was paid then to the outbreak of a drunken Indian boy who had been overcome in a scrap out on the prairie when the youngsters were hunting their cows.

Where the bushes grow over the edge of the bluff at the steep bend in Cliff Street, a point of rock projects beyond the rough side. By a rude sort of stone steps beside this point we could clamber down many feet to the bush-grown ledge below. This point had been a meeting-place and playground for Marjie and myself all those years. We named it "Rockport" after the old Massachusetts town. Marjie could hear my call from the bushes and come up to the half-way place between our two homes. The stratum of rock below this point was full of cunning little crevices and deep hiding-places. One of these, known only to Marjie and myself, we called our post-office, and many a little note, scrawled in childish hand, but always directed to "Rockport" like a real address on the outside fold, we left for each other to find. Sometimes it was a message, sometimes it was only a joke, and sometimes it was just a line of childish love-making. We always put our valentines in this private house of Uncle Sam's postal service. Maybe that was why the other boys and girls did not couple our names together oftener. Everybody knew who got valentines at the real post-office and where they came from.

On the evening after the storm there was no loitering on the prairie. While we knew there was no danger, a half-dozen boys brought the cows home long before the daylight failed. At sunset I went down to "Rockport," intending to whistle to Marjie. How many a summer evening together here we had watched the sunset on the prairie! To-night, for no reason that I could give, I parted the bushes and climbed down to the ledge below, intending in a moment to come up again. I paused to listen to the lowing of some cows down the river. All the sweet sounds and odors of evening were in the air, and the rain-washed woodland of the Neosho Valley was in its richest green. I did not notice that the bushes hid me until, as I turned, I caught a glimpse of a red blanket, with a circular white centre, sliding up that stairway. An instant later, a call, my signal whistle, sounded from the rock above. I stood on the ledge under the point, my heart the noisiest thing in all that summer landscape full of soft twilight utterances. I was too far below the cliff's edge to catch any answering call, but I determined to fling that blanket and its wearer off the height if any harm should even threaten. Presently I heard a light footstep, and Marjie parted the bushes above me. Before she could cry out, Jean spoke to her. His voice was clear and sweet as I had never heard it before, and I do not wonder it reassured her.

"No afraid, Star-face, no afraid. Jean wants one word."

Marjie did not move, and I longed to let her know how near I was to her, and yet I dared not till I knew his purpose.

"Star-face," he began, "Jean drink no more. Jean promise Padre Le Claire, never, never, Star-face, not be afraid anymore, never, never. Jean good Indian now. Always keep evil from Star-face."

How full of affection were his tones. I wondered at his broken Indian tongue, for he had learned good English, and sometimes he surpassed us all in the terse excellence and readiness of his language. Why should he hesitate so now?

"Star-face,"--there was a note of self-control in his pleading voice,--"I will never drink again. I would not do harm to you. Don't be afraid."

I heard her words then, soft and sweet, with that tremor of fear she could never overcome.

"I hope you won't, Jean."

Then the bushes crackled, as she turned and sped away.

I was just out of sight again when that red blanket slipped down the rocks and disappeared over the side of the ledge in the jungle of bushes below me.

A little later, when Mary Gentry and O'mie and I sat with Marjie on the Whately doorstep, she told us what Jean had said.

"Do you really think he will be good now?" asked Mary. She was always credulous.

"Yes, of course," Marjie answered carelessly.

Her reply angered me. She seemed so ready to trust the word of this savage who twenty-four hours before had tried to scalp her. Did his manner please Marjie? Was the foolish girl attracted by this picturesque creature? I clenched my fists in the dark.

"Girls are such silly things," I said to myself. "I thought better of Marjie, but she is like all the rest." And then I blushed in the dark for having such mean thoughts.

"Don't you think he will be good now, Phil?"

I did not know how eagerly she waited for my answer. Poor Marjie! To her the Indian name was always a terror. Before I could reply O'mie broke in:

"Marjory Whately, ye'll excuse me fur referrin' to it, but I ain't no bigger than you are."

O'mie had not grown as the most of us had, and while he had a lightning quickness of movement, and a courage that never faltered, he was no match for the bigger boys in strength and endurance. Marjie was rounding into graceful womanhood now, but she was not of the slight type. She never lost her dimples, and the vigorous air of the prairies gave her that splendid physique that made her a stranger to sickness and kept the wild-rose bloom on her fair cheeks. O'mie did not outweigh her.

"Ye'll 'scuse me," O'mie went on, "fur the embarrassin' statement; but I ain't big, I run mostly to brains, while Phil here, an' Bill, an' Dave, an' Bud, an' Possum Conlow runs mostly to beef; an' yet, bein' small, I ain't afraid none of your good Injun. But take this warnin' from me, an old friend that knew your grandmother in long clothes, that you kape wide of Jean Pahusca's trail. Don't you trust him."

Marjie gave a little shiver. Had I been something less a fool then I should have known that it was a shiver of fear, but I was of the age to know everything, and O'mie sitting there had learned my heart in a moment on the prairie the evening before. And then I wanted Marjie to trust to me. Her eyes were like stars in the soft twilight, and her white face lost its color, but she did not look at me.

"Don't you trust that mock-turtle Osage, Marjorie, don't." O'mie was more deeply in earnest than we thought.

"But O'mie," Marjie urged, "Jean was just as earnest as you are now; and you'd say so, too, Phil, if you had heard him."

She was right. The words I had heard from above the rock rang true.

"And if he really wants to do better, what have we all been told in the Sunday-school? 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'"

I could have caught that minor chord of fear had I been more master of myself at that moment.

"Have ye talked wid Father Le Claire?" asked O'mie. "Let's lave the baste to him. Phil, whin does your padre and his Company start to subdue the rebillious South?"

"Pretty soon, father says."

"My father is going too," Marjie said gently, "and Henry Anderson and Cris Mead, and all the men."

"Oh, well, we'll take care of the widders an' orphans." O'mie spoke carelessly, but he added, "It's grand whin such min go out to foight fur a country. Uncle Cam wants to go if he's aqual to the tests; you know he's too near-sighted to see a soldier. Why don't you go too, Phil? You're big as your dad, an' not half so essential to Springvale. Just lave it to sich social ornimints as me an' Marjie's 'good Injun.'"

Again Marjie shivered.

"I want to go, but father won't let me leave--Aunt Candace."

"An' he's right, as is customary wid him. You nade your aunt to take care of you. He couldn't be stoppin' the battle to lace up your shoes an' see that you'd washed your neck. Come, Mary, little girls must be gettin' home." And he and Mary trotted down the slope toward the twinkling lights of the Cambridge House.

Before I reached home, O'mie had overtaken me, saying:

"Come, Phil, let's rest here a minute."

We were just by the bushes that shut off my "Rockport," so we parted them and sat down on the point of rock. The moon was rising, red in the east, and the Neosho Valley below us was just catching its gleams on the treetops, while each point of the jagged bluff stood out silvery white above the dark shadows. A thousand crickets and katydids were chirping in the grass. It was only on the town side that the bushes screened this point. All the west prairie was in that tender gloom that would roll back in shadowy waves before the rising moon.

"Phil," O'mie began, "don't be no bigger fool than nature cut you out fur to be. Don't you trust that 'good Injun' of Marjie's, but kape one eye on him comin' an t' other 'n on him goin'."

"I don't trust him, O'mie, but he has a voice that deceives. I don't wonder, being a girl, Marjie is caught by it."

"An' you, bein' a boy," O'mie mimicked,--"Phil, you're enough to turn my hair rid. But never mind, ye can't trust him. Fur why? He's not to be trusted. If he was aven Injun clean through you could a little, maybe. Some Osages has honor to shame a white man,--aven an Irishman,--but he's not Osage. He's a Kiowa, the kind that stole that little chap years ago up toward Rid Range. An' he ain't Kiowa altogether nather. The Injun blood gives him cuteness, but half his cussedness is in that soft black scalp an' that soft voice sayin', 'Good Injun.' There's some old Louis XIV somewhere in his family tree. The roots av it may be in the Plains out here, but some branch is a graft from a Orleans rose-bush. He's got the blossoms an' the thorns av a Frenchman. An' besides," O'mie added, "as if us two wise men av the West didn't know, comes Father Le Claire to me to-day. He's Jean's guide an' counsellor. An' Phil, begorra, them two looks alike. Same square-cut kind o' foreheads they've got. Annyhow, I was waterin' the horses down to the ford, an' Father Le Claire comes on me sudden, ridin' up on the Kaw trail from the south. He blessed me wid his holy hand and then says quick:

"'O'mie, ye are a lad I can trust!'"

"I nodded, not knowin' why annybody can't be trusted who goes swimmin' once a week, an' never tastes whiskey, an' don't practise lyin', nor shirkin' his stunt at the Cambridge House."

"'O'mie,' says he, 'I want to tell you who you must not trust. It is Jean Pahusca,' says he; 'I wish I didn't nade to say it, but it is me duty to warn ye. Don't mistreat him, but O'mie, for Heaven's sake, kape your eyes open, especially when he promises to be good.' It's our stunt, Phil, to watch him close now he's took to reformin' to the girls."

"O'mie, we know, and Father Le Claire knows, but how can we make those foolish girls understand? Mary believes everything that's said to her anyhow, and you heard Marjie to-night. She thinks she should take Jean at his word."

"Phil, you are all right, seemin'ly. You can lick any av us. You've got the build av a giant, an' you've beautiful hair an' teeth. An' you are son an' heir to John Bar'net, which is an asset some av us would love to possess, bein' orphans, an' the lovely ladies av Springvale is all bewitched by you; but you are a blind, blitherin' ijit now an' again."

"Well, you heard what Marjie said, and how careless she was."

"Yes, an' I seen her shiver an' turn white the instant too. Phil, she's doin' that to kape us from bein' unaisy, an' it's costin' her some to do it. Bless her pretty face! Phil, don't be no bigger fool than ye can kape from."

In less than a week after the incident on the prairie my father's Company was called to the firing line of the Civil War and the responsibilities of life fell suddenly upon me. There was a great gathering in town on the day the men marched away. Where the opera house stands now was the corner of a big vacant patch of ground reaching out toward the creek. To-day it was filled with the crowd come to see the soldiers and bid them good-bye. A speaker's stand was set up in the yard of the Cambridge House and the boys in blue were in the broad street before it. It was the last civilian ceremony for many of them, for that Kansas Company went up Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga, led the line as Kansans will ever do, and in the face of a murderous fire they drove the foeman back. But many of them never came home to wear their laurels of victory. They lie in distant cemeteries under the shadow of tall monuments. They lie in old neglected fields, in sunken trenches, by lonely waysides, and in deep Southern marshes, waiting all the last great Reunion. If I should live a thousand years, the memory of that bright summer morning would not fade from my mind.

Dr. Hemingway, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, presided over the meeting, and the crowd about the soldiers was reinforced by all the countryside beyond the Neosho and the whole Red Range neighborhood.

Skulking about the edge of the company, or gathered in little groups around the corners just out of sight, were the pro-slavery sympathizers, augmented by the Fingal's Creek crowd, who were of the Secession element clear through. In the doorway of the "Last Chance" sat the Rev. Dodd, pastor of the Springvale Methodist Church South, taking no part in this patriotic occasion. Father Le Claire was beside Dr. Hemingway. He said not a word, but Springvale knew he was a power for peace. He did not sanction bloodshed even in a righteous cause. Neither would he allow those who followed his faith to lift a hand against those who did go out to battle. We trusted him and he never betrayed that trust. This morning I recalled what O'mie had said about his looking like Jean Pahusca. His broad hat was pushed back from his square dark forehead; and the hair, soft and jetty, had the same line about the face. But not one feature there bespoke an ignoble spirit. I did not understand him, but I was drawn toward him, as I was repelled by the Indian from the moment I first saw his head above the bluff on the rainy October evening long ago.

How little the Kansas boys and girls to-day can understand what that morning meant to us, when we saw our fathers riding down the Santa Fé Trail to the east, and waving good-bye to us at the far side of the ford! How the fire of patriotism burned in our hearts, and how the sudden loss of all our strongest and best men left us helpless among secret cruel enemies! And then that spirit of manhood leaped up within us, the sudden sense of responsibility come to "all the able-bodied boys" to stand up as a wall of defence about the homes of Springvale. Too well we knew the dangers. Had we not lived on this Kansas border in all those plastic years when the mind takes deepest impressions? The ruffianism of Leavenworth and Lawrence and Osawatomie had been repeated in the unprotected surroundings of Springvale. The Red Range schoolhouse had been burned, and the teacher, a Massachusetts man, had been drowned in a shallow pool near the source of Fingal's Creek, his body fastened face downward so that a few inches of water were enough for the fiendish purpose. Eastward the settlers had fled to our town, time and again, to escape the border raiders, whose coming meant death to the free-spirited father, and a widow and orphans left destitute beside the smoking embers of what had been a home. Those were busy days in Kansas, and the memory of them can yet stir the heart of a man of sixty years.

That morning Dr. Hemingway offered prayer, the prayer of a godly man, for the souls of men about to be baptized with a baptism of blood that other men might be free, and a peaceful generation might walk with ease where their feet trod red-hot ploughshares; a prayer for the strong arm of God Almighty, to uphold every soldier's hands until the cause of right should triumph; a prayer for the heavenly Father's protection about the homes left fatherless for the sake of His children.

And then he prayed for us, "for Philip Baronet, the strong and manly son of his noble father, John Baronet; for David and William Mead, for John and Clayton and August Anderson." He prayed for Tell Mapleson, too (Tell was always square in spite of his Copperhead father), and for "Thomas O'Meara." We hardly knew whom he meant.

Bud Anderson whispered later, "Thay, O'mie, you'll never get into kingdom come under an athumed name. Better thtick to 'O'mie.'"

And last of all the good Doctor prayed for the wives and daughters, that they "be strong and very courageous," doing their part of working and waiting as bravely as they do who go out to stirring action. Then ringing speeches followed. I remember them all; but most of all the words of my father and of Irving Whately are fixed in my mind. My father lived many years and died one sunset hour when the prairies were in their autumn glory, died with his face to the western sky, his last earthly scene that peaceful prairie with the grandeur of a thousand ever-changing hues building up a wall like to the walls of the New Jerusalem which Saint John saw in a vision on the Isle of Patmos. There was

  No moaning of the bar When he put out to sea

for he died beautifully, as he had lived. I never saw Irving Whately again, for he went down before the rebel fire at Chattanooga; but the sound of his voice I still can hear.

The words of these men seemed to lift me above the clouds, and what followed is like a dream. I know that when the speeches were done, Marjie went forward with the beautiful banner the women of Springvale had made with their own hands for this Company. I could not hear her words. They were few and simple, no doubt, for she was never given to display. But I remember her white dress and her hair parted in front and coiled low on her neck. I remember the sweet Madonna face of the little girl, and how modestly graceful she was. I remember how every man held his breath as she came up to the group seated on the stage, how pink her cheeks were and how white the china aster bloom nestling against the ripples of her hair, and how the soldiers cheered that flag and its bearer. I remember Jean Pahusca, Indian-like, standing motionless, never taking his eyes from Marjie's face. It was that flag that this Company followed in its awful charge up Missionary Ridge. And it was Irving Whately who kept it aloft, the memory of his daughter making it doubly sacred to him.

And then came the good-byes. Marjie's father gripped my hand, and his voice was full of tears.

"Take care of them, Phil. I have no son to guard my home, and if we never come back you will not let harm come to them. You will let me feel when I am far away that you are shielding my little girl from evil, won't you, Phil?"

I clenched his hand in mine. "You know I'll do that, Mr. Whately." I stood up to my full height, young, broad-shouldered, and muscular.

"It will be easier for me, Phil, to know you are here."

I understood him. Mrs. Whately was, of all the women I knew, least able to do for herself. Marjie was like her father, and, save for her fear of Indians, no Kansas girl was ever more capable and independent. It has been my joy that this father trusted me. The flag his daughter put into his hands that day was his shroud at Chattanooga, and his last moments were happier for the thought of his little girl in my care.

Aunt Candace and I walked home together after we had waved the last good-byes to the soldiers. From our doorway up on Cliff Street we watched that line of men grow dim and blend at last into the eastern horizon's purple bound. When I turned then and looked down at the town beyond the slope, it seemed to me that upon me alone rested the burden of its protection. Driven deep in my boyish soul was the sense of the sacredness of these homes, and of a man's high duty to keep harm from them. My father had gone out to battle, not alone to set free an enslaved race, but to make whole and strong a nation whose roots are in the homes it defends. So I, left to fill his place, must be the valiant defender of the defenceless. Such moments of exaltation come to the young soul, and by such ideals a life is squared.

That evening our little crowd of boys strolled out on the west prairie. The sunset deepened to the rich afterglow, and all the soft shadows of evening began to unfold about us. In that quiet, sacred time, standing out on the wide prairie, with the great crystal dome above us, and the landscape, swept across by the free winds of heaven, unrolled in all its dreamy beauty about us, our little company gripped hands and swore our fealty to the Stars and Stripes. And then and there we gave sacred pledge and promise to stand by one another and to give our lives if need be for the protection and welfare of the homes of Springvale.

Busy days followed the going of the soldiers. Somehow the gang of us who had idled away the summer afternoons in the sand-bar shallows beyond the Deep Hole seemed suddenly to grow into young men who must not neglect school nor business duties. Awkwardly enough but earnestly we strove to keep Springvale a pushing, prosperous community, and while our efforts were often ludicrous, the manliness of purpose had its effect. It gave us breadth, this purpose, and broke up our narrow prejudices. I believe in those first months I would have suffered for the least in Springvale as readily as for the greatest. Even Lettie Conlow, whose father kept on shoeing horses as though there were no civil strife in the nation, found such favor with me as she had never found before. I know now it was only a boy's patriotic foolishness, but who shall say it was ignoble in its influence? Marjie was my especial charge. That Fall I did not retire at night until I had run down to the bushes and given my whistle, and had seen her window light waver a good-night answer, and I knew she was safe. I was not her only guardian, however. One crisp autumn night there was no response to my call, and I sat down on the rocky outcrop of the steep hill to await the coming of her light in the window. It was a clear starlight night, and I had no thought of being unseen as I was quietly watching. Presently, up through the bushes a dark form slid. It did not stand erect when the street was reached, but crawled with head up and alert in the deeper shadow of the bluff side of the road. I knew instinctively that it was Jean Pahusca, and that he had not been expecting me to be there after my call and had failed to notice me in his eagerness to creep unseen down the slope. Sometimes in these later years in a great football game I have watched the Haskell Indians crawling swiftly up and down the side-lines following the surge of the players on the gridiron, and I always think of Jean as he crept down the hill that night. It was late October and the frost was glistening, but I pulled off my boots in a moment and silently followed the fellow. Inside the fence near Marjie's window was a big circle of lilac bushes, transplanted years ago from the old Ohio home of the Whatelys. Inside this clump Jean crept, and I knew by the quiet crackle of twigs and dead leaves he was making his bed there. My first thought was to drag him out and choke him. And then my better judgment prevailed. I slipped away to find O'mie for a council.

"Phil, I'd like to kill him wid a hoe, same as Marjie did that other rattlesnake that had Jim Conlow charmed an' flutterin' toward his pisen fangs, only we'd better wait a bit. By Saint Patrick, Philip, we can't hang up his hide yet awhoile. I know what the baste's up to annyhow."

"Well, what is it?" I queried eagerly.

"He's bein' a good Injun he is, an' he's got a crude sort o' notion he's protectin' that dear little bird. She may be scared o' him, an' he knows it; but bedad, I'd not want to be the border ruffian that went prowlin' in there uninvited; would you?"

"Well, he's a dear trusty old Fido of a watchdog, O'mie. We will take Father Le Claire's word, and keep an eye on him though. He will sleep where he will sleep, but we'll see if the sight of water affects him any. A dog of his breed may be subject to rabies. You can't always trust even a 'good Injun.'"

After that I watched for Jean's coming and followed him to his lilac bed, a half-savage, half-educated Indian brave, foolishly hoping to win a white girl for his own.

All that Fall Jean never missed a night from the lilac bush. As long as he persisted in passing the dark hours so near to the Whately home my burden of anxiety and responsibility was doubled. In silent faithfulness he kept sentinel watch. I dared not tell Marjie, for I knew it would fill her nights with terror, and yet I feared her accidental discovery of his presence. Jean was doing more than this, however. His promise to be good seemed to belie Father Le Claire's warning. In and out of the village all that winter he went, orderly, at times even affable, quietly refusing every temptation to drunkenness. "A good Indian" he was, even to the point where O'mie and I wondered if we might not have been wrong in our judgment of him. He was growing handsomer too. He stood six feet in his moccasins, stalwart as a giant, with grace in every motion. Somehow he seemed more like a picturesque Gipsy, a sort of semi-civilized grandee, than an Indian of the Plains. There was a dominant courtliness in his manner and his bearing was kingly. People spoke kindly of him. Regularly he took communion in the little Catholic chapel at the south edge of town on the Kaw trail. Quietly but persistently he was winning his way to universal favor. Only the Irish lad and I kept our counsel and, waited.

After the bitterly cold New Year's Day of '63 the Indian forsook the lilac bush for a time. But I knew he never lost track of Marjie's coming and going. Every hour of the day or night he could have told just where she was. We followed him down the river sometimes at night, and lost him in the brush this side the Hermit's Cave. We did not know that this was a mere trick to deceive us. To make sure of him we should have watched the west prairie and gone up the river for his real landing place. How he lived I do not know. An Indian can live on air and faith in a promise, or hatred of a foe. At last he lulled even our suspicion to sleep.

"Ask the priest what to do," I suggested to O'mie when we grew ashamed of our spying. "They are together so much the rascal looks and walks like him. See him on annuity day and tell him we feel like chicken thieves and kidnappers."

O'mie obeyed me to the letter, and ended with the query to the good Father:

"Now phwat should a couple of young sleuth-hounds do wid such a dacent good Injun?"

Father Le Claire's reply stunned the Irish boy.

"He just drew himself up a mile high an' more," O'mie related to me, "just stood up like the angel av the flamin' sword, an' his eyes blazed a black, consumin' fire. 'Watch him,' says the praist, 'for God's sake, watch him. Don't ask me again phwat to do. I've told you twice. Thirty years have I lived and labored with his kind. I know them.' An' then," O'mie went on, "he put both arms around me an' held me close as me own father might have done, somewhere back, an' turned an' left me. So there's our orders. Will ye take 'em?"

I took them, but my mind was full of queries. I did not trust the Indian, and yet I had no visible reason to doubt his sincerity.